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Philosophical Foundations of Agricultural and Extension Education

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Title: Philosophical Foundations of Agricultural and Extension Education


1
Philosophical Foundations of Agricultural and
Extension Education
2
Philosophy is
  • A search for meaning and truth

The general beliefs and attitudes of an
individual or group
The body of principles underlying a branch of
learning or major discipline
3
Original Definition
  • Love of Wisdom
  • Definition was developed by Socrates

4
Of What Value is theStudy of Philosophy
  • Provide clarification for what is or has been
    done by others
  • Provides a framework for life and our action
  • Can be useful in solving educational problems
  • A good mental activity

5
Three Major Areas of Philosophy
  • Metaphysics - the nature of reality
  • Axiology - the nature of values
  • Epistemology - the nature of knowledge

6
Metaphysics
  • Concerned with theories of the nature of reality.

  • Why does the earth exist?
  • How did it come into being?
  • Is mankind free?
  • Is there a God?
  • What is real?

7
Metaphysics
  • Common terms used in metaphysics are
  • theology
  • creationism
  • evolution
  • spirit
  • free will
  • atheism
  • Metaphysics is the area many people think of when
    they hear the term philosophy.

8
Axiology
  • concerned with theories of value
  • Two major divisions of axiology
  • ethics
  • What is right and wrong?
  • What is evil and good?
  • aesthetics
  • What is beautiful and ugly?
  • Some common terms used that relate to axiology
    are pessimism, optimism, hedonism, egoism, and
    altruism.

9
Epistemology
  • Concerned with theories of the nature of
    knowledge
  • Epistemological questions
  • How do people learn?
  • What knowledge is of utmost value?
  • What are the different types of knowledge?
  • What are the educational goals of agricultural
    education and extension?

10
Philosophical Schools of Thought
  • Idealism
  • Realism
  • Pragmatism
  • Existentialism
  • Reconstructionism

11
  • Idealism

12
Idealism (Idea-ism)
  • Idealist believe that ideas are the only true
    reality.
  • The material world is characterized by change,
    instability, and uncertainty some ideas are
    enduring

13
Idealism
  • We should be concerned primarily with the search
    for truth. Since truth is perfect and eternal,
    it cannot be found in the world of matter that is
    both imperfect and constantly changing.

14
Methods of Idealism
  • Study the classics for universal truths
  • Mathematics (224 is an absolute truth)
  • Dialectic (critical discussion)
  • The dialectic looks at both sides of an issue
  • Lecture is used to transmit known truths and to
    stimulate thinking.

15
The Dialectic
Antithesis War is bad
Thesis War is good
Synthesis
16
Leaders of Idealism
  • Socrates (469-399 BC)
  • Plato (427-347 BC)
  • St. Augustine (350-4300
  • Descartes (1596-1650)
  • Berkeley (1685-1753)
  • Kant (1724-1804)

17
Socrates
  • Regarded as the father of philosophy
  • Believed we learned through questioning (the
    Socratic method)
  • Wrote nothing, what we know of his views were
    written by his followers, most notably Plato

18
Plato
  • A student of Socrates
  • Known as the father of idealism
  • Operated a school named the Academy

19
Platos views toward education
  • The state must take an active role in educational
    matters
  • The curriculum must lead bright students from a
    concern with concrete data toward abstract
    thinking
  • Students with little ability for abstraction
    should go into the military, business and
    industry.

20
Plato
  • Those who demonstrate proficiency in the
    dialectic would continue their education and
    become philosophers in positions of power to lead
    the state toward the highest good (the
    Philosopher-King)
  • Believed both boys and girls should be educated
    and girls should be equals.

21
Augustine (354-430)
  • Born in North Africa (Roman citizen)
  • Mother - Christian, Father - Pagan
  • Attended Roman Primary School
  • grammar and literature emphasized
  • At 16 went to Carthage and studied
  • rhetoric, music, geometry, grammar, mathematics
  • During his younger days He lied, he stole, he
    wenched.

22
Augustine. . .
  • Became a grammaticus in his native town
  • Taught rhetoric in Carthage, Rome, Milan
  • While in his 30s was converted to Christianity,
    took his holy orders and became a great
    evangelist and priest.
  • Found great favor in the church andbecame a
    great religious leader.

23
Augustine
  • People do not create knowledge God hasalready
    created it, but people can discover it through
    trying to find God.

24
Augustines Beliefs
  • Women were held in low regard (this view was
    incorporated into the church and held for a
    thousand years)
  • Only a few people possessed the mental ability to
    quest for the truth. Therefore most people
    should rely on the church for knowledge.

25
Augustines Beliefs
  • Augustine used Greek writings but began to have
    doubts how people who did not know God could
    write anything which could be of value to
    Christians.
  • In 401 the Church outlawed pagan writings such as
    Plato and Aristotle (even the church leaders were
    not allowed to read the ancient literature).
    This continued for 1000 years.

26
Augustines Beliefs about Teaching
  • Encouraged the use of summaries
  • Believed teachers should teach through persuasion
    and by leading impeccable lives.
  • Teachers should not expect to increase their
    worldly stores through teaching.
  • The stick and fist were needed to keep
    students in line since people were wicked
    (because of Adam).

27
The Church and Idealism
  • Idealism has exerted a great amount of influence
    on Christianity.
  • For centuries the Christian church was the
    creator and protector of schooling.
  • Generations educated in these schools were
    indoctrinated with the idealistpoint of view
    (including early American education).

28
Descartes (1596-1650)
  • A renown mathematician
  • Wrestled with the question of what was real and
    did he really exist (perhaps he was a dream). He
    finally concluded
  • I think, therefore I am
  • Thinking and ideas are the ultimate truth.

29
George Berkeley (1685-1753)
  • Existence is dependent upon some mind to know it,
    and if there are no minds, nothing would exist
    unless it is perceived in the mind of God.

30
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
  • the greatest and most difficult problem to
    which a man can devote himself is the problem of
    education
  • Education should teach students how to think
    according to principles - moral laws, moral
    ideals and moral imperatives
  • Enlightenment is the goal of education

31
Educational Aims of Idealism
  • Develop the mind
  • Search for true ideas
  • Character development
  • Self-realization

32
Educational Aims of Idealism
  • True education is concerned with ideas rather
    than matter.
  • The idealists wants to give students a broad
    understanding of the world in which they live.

33
The Idealist and the Chair
  • To an idealist, the concept of chair is
    important. You could destroy all the chairs in
    the world but they would still exist in the mind.
    The idea of a chair is the ultimate truth.

34
Realism
35
Realism
  • Reality, knowledge and value exist independent of
    the human mind. Trees, sticks and stones exist
    whether or not there is a human mind to perceive
    them.

36
Realism
  • Ideas must be subject to public verification
  • must be proven through scientific
    experimentation
  • Science for the sake of science

37
Realism
  • Universal properties of objects remain constant
    and never change, whereas particular components
    do change

38
Realism
  • Need to study nature systematically
  • Deductive reasoning - truth is derived from
    generalizations
  • Earth is the center of the universe

39
Leaders of Realism
  • Aristotle (384-322 BC)
  • Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
  • Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
  • John Locke (1632-1704)

40
Aristotle (384-322 BC)
  • Ideas may be important but a proper study of
    matter could lead us to better and more distinct
    ideas.

41
Aristotle (384-322 BC)
  • Golden Mean - a path between extremes
  • Balance is key - body and mind operate together
    in a balanced whole

42
Aquinas (1225-1274)
  • God created matter therefore it must be ok to
    learn about it
  • This view helped lead civilization out of the
    dark ages, replaced the influence of Augustine

43
Aquinas
  • Truth was passed from God to Humans by divine
    revelation, but God alsohas endowed humans
    withthe reasoning ability toseek out truth.

44
Bacon (1561-1626)
  • Novum Organum - challenged Aristotelian logic
  • Science must be concerned with inquiry, pure and
    simple with no preconceived notions
  • We need to examine all previously accepted
    knowledge

45
Bacon (1561-1626)
  • Need to rid our mind of idols
  • Idol of the Den - we believe things because of
    limited experience
  • Idol of the Tribe - we believe things because
    many people believe them
  • Idol of the Marketplace - we are mislead by
    language
  • Idol of the Theatre - Religion and philosophy may
    prevent us from see the world objectively

46
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
  • Known as the father of inductive reasoning
  • arrive at generalizations from systematic
    observations of particulars
  • Died as a result of the only experiment he
    performed - stuffed a dead chicken with snow to
    see if it would preserve the flesh, caught a cold
    and died

47
John Locke (1632-1704)
  • At birth, the mind is a blank sheet of paper - a
    tabla rasa
  • All ideas are derived from experience by way of
    sensation and reflection

48
Realism and Education
  • Promotes the study of science and the scientific
    method
  • There are essential ideas and facts to be
    learned therefore lecture and other formal
    methods of teaching are useful

49
Realism and Education
  • Find specialization to be desirable
  • Like structure
  • ringing bells, departments, daily lesson plans
  • If something exists, it can be measured
  • IQ, Effective teaching
  • Approve of competencies, performance-based
    teaching, accountability

50
Realism and Education
  • Teacher should present material in a systematic,
    organized way and teach that there are clearly
    defined criteria for making judgements in art,
    economics, politics, etc.

51
The Realist and the Chair
  • To a realist, the actuality of chair is
    important. A realist would measure the chair,
    weight it, examine the physical characteristics,
    etc. The fact that the chair exists is the
    ultimate truth.

52
Pragmatism
53
Pragmatism
  • The root of the word Pragmatism is a Greek word
    meaning work.
  • It is primarily a 20th century philosophy
    developed by Americans.
  • Truth is what works in the real world. We must
    keep the desired end in mind.
  • Ideas should be applied to solving problems
    including social problems.

54
Leaders in Pragmatism
  • Auguste Comte, 1798-1857
  • Not a pragmatist but emphasized using science to
    solve social problems

55
Leaders in Pragmatism
  • Charles Darwin, 1809-1882
  • Reality is not found in Being, but in Becoming
  • Reality is open-ended, in process, with no fixed
    end.

56
American Pragmatists
  • Charles Sanders Peirce, 1839-1914
  • Widely acknowledged as the father of pragmatism
  • Wrote an article on How to make our Ideas Clear
    in Popular Science Monthly that is regarded as
    the basis for pragmatism.
  • True knowledge of anything depends upon
    verfication of our ideas in actual experience

57
American Pragmatists
  • William James, 1842-1910
  • The truth of an idea is its workability
  • Truth is not absolute and immutable rather it is
    made in actual, real-life
  • James called his philosophy radical empericism
  • Jamess 1907 book Pragmatism did much to
    promote pragmatism.
  • Rufus Stimson, a leader in agricultural
    education, studied under James.

58
American Pragmatists
  • John Dewey, 1859-1952
  • Need to concentrate on real-life problems
  • Sought practical solutions for practical
    problems
  • How We Think
  • Felt Difficulty
  • Define the problem
  • Formulate possible solutions
  • Examine Evaluate possible solutions
  • Accept or reject solutions

59
Pragmatism and Education
  • Education should be preparation for life
  • Solving problems is important therefore use
    real-life situations
  • Teaching methods should be varied and flexible
  • Education should be action oriented
  • Needs and interests of students should be
    considered

60
Pragmatism and Education
  • Project approach to teaching is desirable
  • Curriculum is varied
  • A broad education is more desirable

61
The Pragmatist and the Chair
  • To a pragmatist, the use of the chair is
    important. What is the purpose of the chair and
    does it fulfil that purpose? The workability of
    a chair is the ultimate truth.

62
Reconstructionism
63
Reconstructionism
  • Society is in need of constant reconstruction
  • Such social change involves both a reconstruction
    of education and the use of education in
    reconstructing society
  • Problems are viewed holistically
  • Futuristic thinking (utopian thinking)

64
Reconstructionism
  • Do not believe preparing students for the world
    as it exists today will be sufficient (too much
    emphasis on the status quo)

65
Reconstuctionists want to
  • link thought with action
  • theory with practice
  • intellect with activism

66
Reconstructionism
  • The goal of education should be to emphasize the
    need for change
  • Students should be out in the real world
  • World curriculum
  • Technology is valuable in solving problems

67
Noted Reconstructionists
  • George S. Counts
  • Theodore Brameld
  • Paole Freire
  • Karl Marx
  • Ivan Illich
  • John Dewey (he is also recognized as a
    pragmatist)

68
The Reconstructionist and the Chair
  • To a reconstructionist, the redesign of the
    chair to better serve the needs of society is
    important. How can the chair be improved to
    prepare society for the future?

69
Existentialism
70
Existentialism
  • Received new emphasis in the 60s and 70s
  • Civil rights
  • Women rights
  • Individual rights
  • Special needs

71
Existentialism
  • In education
  • curriculum was revamped to meet the needs (more
    accurately - demands) of individuals
  • mainstreaming
  • Pass or fail grade policies
  • extended drop deadlines in college
  • elimination of core courses
  • decline of corporal punishment

72
Existentialism
  • In extension there was a focus on serving
    non-traditional clientele
  • Focus shifted toward the urban environment

73
Existentialism
  • Traditional philosophies - consider questions
    about the nature of knowledge, truth and meaning
    but
  • Existentialists are concerned with how these
    things are educationally significant within the
    lived experiences of individuals.

74
Existentialism and Education
  • People come first, then ideas
  • People create ideas
  • Emphasis on self discovery

75
Existentialism and Schools
  • A good education emphasizes individuality
  • Students should take a positive role in shaping
    their schools

76
Existentialism and Schools
  • Students shouldnt have to
  • attend classes
  • take examinations
  • receive grades
  • There is no set curriculum

77
Noted Existentialists
  • Soren Kierkegaard
  • Martin Heidigger
  • Martin Buber
  • Jean-Paul Sartre

78
The Existentialist and the Chair
  • To an existentialist, the individuals use of
    chair is important. Whatever the individual
    wants to do with the chair is important. The
    experience of the individual with the chair is
    the ultimate truth.

79
Match the philosophyto the image
  • Idealism
  • Realism
  • Pragmatism
  • Reconstructionism
  • Existentialism
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